(Photo Supplied: Fort McMurray Oil Barons defenceman Tanner Miller pushes Jamieson Ree of the Whitecourt Wolverines at the Casman Centre on November 20, 2015. Dan Lines / FORT MCMURRAY OIL BARONS)
Neither teams converts on nine combined power-plays
Oil Barons put forth another excellent effort with just 16 skaters
McMurrayite Jason Hamilton scores his first AJHL goal
The final score reads 4-2 in favour of Whitecourt but the fourth marker by Joseph Nardi was an empty netter with 46 seconds left in regulation. It was another tight game Sunday afternoon for the Oil Barons against one of the AJHL’s best squads in the Wolverines following a 2-1 loss on Saturday.
“I was a very competitive person growing up and I hated losing and if it meant stepping over my own sister I would’ve done it. So I don’t want anybody to think that I’m accepting of these losses but the effort was there,” said Oil Barons Head Coach Tom Keca on the ROCK 97.9 post-game show. “Against one of the top teams in the Alberta Junior Hockey League we went toe-to-toe with them.”
Three goals were scored in the first frame, book-ended by markers for Whitecourt by Bryson Traptow and Eric Krienke.
McMurrayite Jason Hamilton scored his first ever Junior ‘A’ goal between the Whitecourt markers at 12:23 of the first stanza. He was fed beautifully in front on a two-on-one from Cole Todd who created a turn-over at the offensive blue-line.
“It was a great play by Cole Todd and he [Hamilton] pots into the corner of the net. The guys were excited for him and our second goal comes from Cody Hodgson and I thought our second goal was just a carbon copy of hard work,” said Keca. “We got in on the forecheck banged some bodies, created a turnover and he ripped it in from the slot and that’s what we have to do on a more consistent basis if we’re going to have any success.”
Hodgson’s marker came at 9:23 of the second to make it 3-2 Whitecourt following a Ryan Grant goal just minutes earlier that at the time gave the home team a two-goal cushion.
Dealing With a Short Bench
The Oil Barons played both Saturday and Sunday’s games short two-men dressing just 11 forwards and five defenceman due to injury.
“I thought that fatigue set in especially in the third period they won a lot of races to loose pucks in our zone. Unfortunately we had a couple of opportunities in the third where they tried to hand us that tying goal but we just couldn’t capitalize.”
Netminders and Special Teams
Ravi Dattani made 40 of 43 saves while Tanner McCorriston stopped 20 of 22 shots sent his way.
For the second game in a row both teams were perfect on the penalty-kill with the MOB going five-for-five and Whitecourt killing off its four penalties.
Fort McMurray will next play host to the Sherwood Park Crusaders for a double-header at the Casman Centre on Friday and Saturday.
“A very physical team, very big, they like to go hard to the net. We’ll get back home tonight at a decent time and we’ll give the guys some rest and we’ll prepare for the week ahead,” said Keca.
Both games are scheduled to start at 8 p.m., you can tune into both live on ROCK 97.9 starting with the pre-game show at 7:45 p.m.